AI Writing Tools: Are They Worth Your Money? 7 Content Marketing Thought Leaders Share Insights

Opinions on the use of AI in content writing and marketing have always been divided. While some marketers feel that an AI writing software is a great addition to their content marketing tool stack, increasing their content production rates, others refuse to trust AI-generated content. But the biggest question that lingers in everyone’s minds is probably the same – Can AI writers replace humans? There is no concrete answer to this and only time will tell, but we still wanted to know what experts and thought leaders in the industry had to say about it.

We asked 7 content marketing thought leaders about their views on AI writing tools. We asked them the following questions –

  • What do you think of AI creating content? A good or a bad thing?
  • What kind of use cases would you trust an AI writer with?
  • Where according to you does AI writing fail?
  • Do you think AI writers can improve a content team’s productivity?
  • Will AI writers replace human content writers in the foreseeable future? Is it worth investing in an AI writing tool?

 

TL;DR – AI Writing Tools – Key Takeaways

  • AI writing assistants, like the ones available on Narrato, are great for ideating and brainstorming,  especially when a writer is faced with a creative slump.
  • AI writing tools are a good investment as they can save you a lot of time spent on content creation.
  • AI writing has room for improvement when it comes to technical/niche topics and creating personal, engaging content. Human oversight is must for all AI generated content.
  • To realize the true potential of AI writing technology, human writers need to adapt their processes and knowledge to work collaboratively with these machines.
  • AI content assistants can significantly speed up content team operations. They can cut down the content research and planning time, helping teams get started with content creation swiftly.

 

 

 

AI Writing Tools – The Interviews

Here’s what the 7 content marketing industry experts had to say –

1. Larry Kim, Founder, Mobile Monkey

Are AI writing tools useful - Interview with 7 content marketing experts

Q. What do you think of AI creating content? A good or a bad thing?

A. It’s awesome. Conceptually, it’s like having a really good autocomplete.

Q. What kind of use cases would you trust an AI writer with?

A. At the current time, I use AI copywriting for:

  • Headline and description writing.
  • Writing introductions and conclusions.
  • Developing table of contents.
  • Rephrasing stuff. Like if you don’t like how your paragraph reads, suggest an alternative, automatically.
  • Any “filler” material (for some articles, if you’re worried that you might need a high word count) — “beefing-up” thin content that is doing poorly.

 

Q. Where according to you does AI writing fail?

A. By definition, this machine learning stuff can’t write about anything new. Like “breaking news” or the next big scoop. A lot of “thought leadership” is writing about new ideas that haven’t been written about yet. Also, a lot of what ranks in Google has some really catchy fit between the intent of the search and the content.

AI can’t yet tackle the witty memes and things that make me laugh, which I think has something to do with the ability to rank competitively. It really struggles with niche topics.

Q. Do you think AI writers can improve a content team’s productivity?

A. Yes, absolutely. Think about the life of a blogger, authoring a few articles per day on various evergreen topics. This is tedious work and ripe for disruption (though, I think this kind of content is going to be less valuable in the future). I think of it as having an editing assistant to look over your work.

Q. Will AI writers replace human content writers in the foreseeable future? Is it worth investing in an AI writing tool?

A. I don’t see that in the foreseeable future due to the aforementioned shortcomings. I’d like to see it get better at the use cases that it currently supports, first.

If you haven’t gotten on the AI copywriting bandwagon yet, it’s worth taking a look at.

2. Mike Kaput, Chief Content Officer, Marketing AI Institute

Are AI writing tools useful - Interview with 7 content marketing experts

Q. What do you think of AI creating content? A good or a bad thing?

A. Like any advanced technology, AI can be used in good or bad ways. The same goes for AI creating content. AI content creation tools are great if you use them to identify the content your audience actually wants to consume—and what information they require to get value out of the content. It’s also good if it aids your content creation process, by, say, generating initial copy to work off of, filling in gaps in content, and generating shorter-form assets from content, like ads and social shares. AI for content creation can be bad, however, if you’re relying on it to churn out low-quality content that has no human insight or oversight.

Q. What kind of use cases would you trust an AI writer with?

A. Today, I see AI writing tools as great for the following use cases:

  • Getting through writer’s block – AI writing tools can be a great way to get started on a piece of writing and eliminate delays in brainstorming what to write about or how to start a piece.
  • Generate short-form content – AI writing tools can generate solid blocks of text that are factually accurate and compelling, which can be helpful in fleshing out content pieces.
  • Edit and improve content – AI writing tools can also improve your writing by suggesting edits, tone, and topical additions to make sure your content is accurate, compelling, and comprehensive.

 

Q. Where according to you does AI writing fail?

A. You can’t use an AI writing tool today to write an entire in-depth blog post with zero human oversight. It’s just not possible to create a comprehensive, expert piece of content without substantial human input and effort. Someday, it might be. But, as of today, it is inaccurate to think you can just buy an AI writing tool and have it do all the work for you.

Q. Do you think AI writers can improve a content team’s productivity?

A. Absolutely. At Marketing AI Institute, we rely on AI-powered content tools to dramatically reduce the time it takes to create content strategies and content assets. These tools also significantly increase the ROI on the content we do take the time to create. It’s because of AI that our very small team has been able to publish 750+ posts and grow a substantial audience of traffic and contacts from scratch without dramatically increasing our budget and/or headcount.

Q. Will AI writers replace human content writers in the foreseeable future? Is it worth investing in an AI writing tool?

A. As of today, I don’t think so. Human content writers will largely use AI writing tools to increase their own productivity and focus, which will, in turn, increase their output, effectiveness, and value. That’s not to say the work of human content writers won’t change. It’s very possible human content writers will need to adapt their knowledge, activities, and processes to work hand-in-hand with machines to create value.

Yes. Many AI writing tools are extremely affordable and easy to use. At the very least, if you create content, you should be investigating different tools through free trials. Or, purchase a couple of months of paid versions to see what’s possible and how AI tools can fit into your content workflow. Saving even an hour a week on content creation activities can justify the cost of an AI writing tool.

3. Phil Strazzulla, Owner and Founder, SelectSoftware

Are AI writing tools useful - Interview with 7 content marketing experts

Q. What do you think of AI creating content? A good or a bad thing?

A. At the moment, I don’t think AI tools can dish out original and engaging content. It can be a bad thing in the eyes of Google too. As recycled or regenerated content given a fresh look by an AI tool can be detrimental to your website’s Google rankings.

Q. What kind of use cases would you trust an AI writer with?

A. Maybe, it can be a time-saving tactic to use AI tools to generate some content for Social Media.

Q. Where according to you does AI writing fail?

A. AI writing fails in being personal, engaging, and inclusive.

Q. Do you think AI writers can improve a content team’s productivity?

A. Certain tools can help content teams on certain occasions. For example, if there needs to be a paraphrasing task for a quote or reference, a paraphrasing tool can save time.

Q. Will AI writers replace human content writers in the foreseeable future? Is it worth investing in an AI writing tool?

A. Maybe. Maybe not. We have to wait and see. If AI can have human-like instincts and skills, there’s no reason why it can’t become a major thing in the content business.

If Grammarly or other grammar checker tools or basic checking plus plagiarism checking tools fit into this bill, then yes. If not, no.

4. Farzad Rashidi, Co-Founder, Respona

Are AI writing tools useful - Interview with 7 content marketing experts

Q. What do you think of AI creating content? A good or a bad thing?

A. It definitely is a good thing – AI can substantially speed up the job for our content team.

Q. What kind of use cases would you trust an AI writer with?

A. AI is good at creating outlines for articles, answering both simple and difficult questions, and breaking complex topics into smaller components.

Q. Where according to you does AI writing fail?

A. The way AI works is it doesn’t actually produce new content. It learns from whatever is already on the web and basically paraphrases what has already been said. Also, it’s definitely not as knowledgeable as a real writer in more niche and technical topics.

Q. Do you think AI writers can improve a content team’s productivity?

A. Definitely.

Q. Will AI writers replace human content writers in the foreseeable future? Is it worth investing in an AI writing tool?

A. Not until AI reaches sentience, which may not even be possible. At the stage where it’s currently at, definitely not.

It is worth investing in if your team has to produce a lot of repetitive content, such as guest posts for link-building purposes.

 

 

 

5. Alex Birkett, Co-Founder, Omniscent

Are AI writing tools useful - Interview with 7 content marketing experts

Q. What do you think of AI creating content? A good or a bad thing?

A. For content creators, it’s great. It helps speed up the process, allowing you to automate at least the repetitive types of content you don’t enjoy creating (product descriptions, small bits of ad copy, and even blog post outlines). It’s also great to break you out of writer’s block. I find that, when facing the blank page, it’s easier to generate a crappy first draft or start the essay with AI tools, and then that gets me started with the piece.

For readers – yet to be determined. I don’t think a lot of human-driven SEO content is necessarily better than AI-driven copy. But I’m also not sure I like the idea of the entire internet (or most of it) being written by AI. We’ll see.

Q. What kind of use cases would you trust an AI writer with?

A. The main thing I currently use AI copywriting tools for is to create the outline and first few paragraphs of formulaic content. For my personal website, I write a lot of software review listicles and the format is pretty similar every time. I probably get 30% of them started out with AI generation and then inject my own copy, opinions, and narrative into the rest of the piece. Saves me maybe an hour per article.

Q. Where according to you does AI writing fail?

A. AI copywriting has a LONG way to go before it replaces content marketers. First off, it can’t tell you WHAT to write. Strategy is still important. Second, it can’t tell you HOW to write the piece – what style, angle, and opinions to share. It can basically spit out copy that has been ingested from other stuff on the internet, which will never really create or replicate a human viewpoint.

And actually, even factual information is often wrong with AI tools. I was writing a piece recently on Surfer SEO, and my AI copywriting tool got the year it was founded wrong. So you still need editors too (editors are actually much more important when using AI tools).

Q. Do you think AI writers can improve a content team’s productivity?

A. 100%, if used correctly. Like I said, for formulaic SEO content like listicles, it can speed up your content outline process (especially if used in combination with something like Frase, Clearscope, or Surfer). It can also help you get beyond writer’s block. It can help you rephrase paragraphs to repurpose a piece of content into many Tweets and LinkedIn posts. And it can generate tons of stock copy for things like product descriptions and ad copy tests (anywhere you need a high volume of shallow depth copy).

Q. Will AI writers replace human content writers in the foreseeable future? Is it worth investing in an AI writing tool?

A. Nope.

Yes, especially for teams operating at a high production scale.

6. Irene McConnel, Managing Director, Arielle Executive

Are AI writing tools useful - Interview with 7 content marketing experts

Q. What do you think of AI creating content? A good or a bad thing?

A. AI content writers are excellent helpers for writers and business owners. They help to get unstuck, ideate and brainstorm. Often writers face blocks when crafting headlines, intros, and website copy. While AI can’t replace humans, it can make humans more efficient and creative.

Q. What kind of use cases would you trust an AI writer with?

A. We’ve been using our AI tool to write templates for email marketing campaigns. Most people don’t entrust emails to AI since it lacks a human touch. But we’ve been able to personalize our email campaigns with it. If you teach your AI writer your brand guidelines and tone of voice and set specific content goals, you can definitely enhance the work of a human writer.

Q. Where according to you does AI writing fail?

A. Long-form content isn’t the forte of AI writers. They’ll give you stellar introductions. But it’ll start to lack as you get into the body of your blog or article. The content becomes redundant, and the piece loses its charm.

Q. Do you think AI writers can improve a content team’s productivity?

A. Yes, they can. By delegating repetitive tasks to AI writing assistants, content writers can focus on creative work. These would include writing boring templates, proofreading, and more.

Q. Will AI writers replace human content writers in the foreseeable future? Is it worth investing in an AI writing tool?

A. AI writing tools do have the potential to partially replace content strategists and help create comprehensive outlines and briefs. However, I don’t see them replacing human writing completely. They’re advanced enough to complement humans but not to replace them.

You should definitely invest in an AI writing tool. You won’t have to hire content creators for basic writing tasks and can save a lot of money. The tool will provide high-quality content much faster and improve your team’s efficiency.

7. Jonathan Green, Founder, ServeNoMaster

Are AI writing tools useful - Interview with 7 content marketing experts

Q. What do you think of AI creating content? A good or a bad thing?

A. As with any emergent technology, it’s not the tool but how you use it. I see a lot of people thinking that an AI writer can replace a human writer and that’s simply not the case. When used correctly these are wonderful tools, but some people are publishing articles written by AI writers without checking the quality and that’s when they are a bad thing.

Q. What kind of use cases would you trust an AI writer with?

A. We use an AI writer extensively for creating blog posts and articles for our blog. We use the AI writer to block out an article, design the outline and write the rough draft.

Q. Where according to you does AI writing fail?

A. The AI Writer pulls information from the Internet to create the content. Subjects with little information cause the writer problems and inaccuracies spike. AI Writers are not true artificial intelligence, they don’t have sentience and can’t make original thoughts. They can only merge existing content and then write in a new way, but they can’t actually create an original idea. AI Writers all seem to pull the wrong information when you ask them to write about the price of a product. You always have to fact-check your AI writer.

Q. Do you think AI writers can improve a content team’s productivity?

A. Absolutely. AI writers cut down on research, blocking, and planning time. We’ve already seen a massive increase in productivity.

Q. Will AI writers replace human content writers in the foreseeable future? Is it worth investing in an AI writing tool?

A. Definitely not. AI writers are a commodity. Anyone can pay to use one, so all competitors writing on the same topic will end up with the same content. The only way to stand out will be by adding the human touch. I would never release an article that a human hadn’t done a pass on.

Yes. We invested in an AI writer six months ago and it was a good decision. The time saved is worth every penny.

Wrapping Up

These interviews gave us a wealth of insights on AI writing tools and the future implications of this technology in the content marketing industry. It’s amply evident that AI tools can be of significant help to content writers in speeding up their content creation efforts. An AI writing assistant, like the one offered on Narrato, can help writers with multiple use cases, from optimizing content for readability and grammar to creating content outlines and generating topics. It will essentially make it easier to create compelling content.

But that said, AI writing tools are still a long way from replacing human writers or creating content that can trigger real emotions. Human oversight is always needed if you want your content to not just rank in search but provide value to readers as well. Nonetheless, AI writing software can be a great investment to boost productivity in content marketing. If you haven’t jumped on the AI content generation yet, now is a great time to try!